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Goa Real Estate News & Questions

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  • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

    Locals of isolated Bhutpal welcome footbridge plans

    TNN | Oct 25, 2018, 12:39 IST

    During the monsoon months, the makeshift bridge built over a rivulet at Bhutpal regularly gets washed away, le... Read More

    POINGUINIM: A proposal for a footbridge over an existing bandhara at Bhutpal, Canacona, will be a small consolation for the residents of the hamlet located in a remote, forested area within Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, over 12km east of National Highway (NH) 66.

    Everyday, the village’s 35 residents face the arduous task of walking to the highway at Partagal to board a bus to the nearest bazaar, work place or other destinations. Their woes worsen during the monsoon, as gushing waters in a rivulet there regularly wash away their makeshift bridge.

    “Once complete, the concrete footbridge will reduce the distance we walk by about seven to eight kilometres,” a resident of one of the village’s eight houses says.

    The proposal, being processed by Canacona legislator Isidore Fernandes, is likely to provide relief to students walking to school three kilometres away, and also to the villagers of neighbouring Endrem.

    Around 250 residents trapped in remote wards within the protected area at Cotigao face similar hardships. With no proper road connectivity, transport, education facilities, employment, and even drinking water and electricity, they say they have been living in abject misery since Liberation. While successive governments have assured them respite, villagers point to the dismal implementation of measures, which, they say could be due to the intricacies of the Wildlife Protection Act.

    Health emergencies, especially at night, leave residents virtually helpless, as rushing a sick person to the closest hospital 19km away is close to impossible.

    “In such cases, chances of survival are very less,” Bhutpal resident Pradip Gaonkar, says. And apparently so. Endrem local Bhikaji Gaonkar, says if they are to get to the hospital at Chauri, they have to first request forest officials to open a gate at the check post. Only once that is done can they proceed with the ailing person.

    Among all localities nestled in remote areas, the residents of Keri, a hilly area near Goa’s border that is 810 metres above sea level, are the worst affected. They have to walk about 6km through undulating terrain to reach Nadkem. Here, like the residents of Nadkem, they continue their journey on foot for an hour to Yedda. A bus after every hour from here helps transport them to NH 66 at Bhatpal.

    With no power supply was released only two years ago and an unpaved road, living has been far from easy for Keri’s residents. They even risk their lives during the monsoon while crossing three nullahs that tend to flood in extreme weather.

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    • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

      In attempt at conservation, 2,000 fish seeds released in two waterbodies of Goa

      TNN | Oct 25, 2018, 12:44 IST

      A state biodiversity board team led by member-secretary Pradip Sarmokadam released three species of fish seeds... Read More

      SALIGAO: Close to 2,000 fish seeds of rohu, katla and common carp were released into the Savlem lake and the pond near Sadguru Mutt, in Pilerne, on Monday. Spearheaded by the Goa State Biodiversity Board (GSBB), the two-pronged approach is aimed at cleaning up wetlands and waterbodies, while also benefiting local communities.

      “The three species of fish we have released are bottom, channel and surface feeders, and will clean the lake,” GSBB member-secretary, Pradip Sarmokadam, said.

      Savlem lake, which has a large catchment area flanked by green slopes, is visited by resident and migrant bird species. The increased presence of local fish varieties in the lake is expected to counter the growth of invasive species in the waterbody, although the survival rate of the fish seeds will be checked at a later stage.

      With the threat of invasive fish species already being felt, the GSBB plans to release seeds of local fish species into temple ponds and tanks in other villages, in an attempt to maintain fish biodiversity and keep the tanks clean.

      The programme at Pilerne was organized by GSBB, in association with the Pilerne-Marra panchayat and the fisheries department. Sarpanch Ajay Govekar, former NIO scientist Baban Ingole, superintendent of the fisheries department Chandresh Haldankar, chairman of the Pilerne biodiversity management committee Sayajirao L Rane, panchayat members and other department officials were present.

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      • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

        Osia units without sewerage connection to face action

        Vijai meets SGPDA, MMC officials, cops

        TNN | Updated: Oct 25, 2018, 06:07 IST

        On Tuesday, Sardesai had warned traders in the SGPDA market complex against releasing sewage and waste water into the open.

        MARGAO: Town and country planning minister Vijai Sardesai, on Wednesday, directed the South Goa Planning and Development Authority (SGPDA) and Margao Municipal Council (MMC) to conduct an audit of the units occupied by traders in the Osia building of the SGPDA complex with regards to their sanitary situation.

        Sardesai held a meeting with the officials of the SGPDA, MMC, directorate of health services, police, district administration and developer of the Osia complex over the unhygienic conditions prevailing in the SGPDA market complex.

        Sardesai, speaking to reporters after the meeting, said while the developer has maintained that all units in the complex are connected to the sewerage network, official records indicate otherwise. "I have given a week's time to the PDA and the MMC to conduct an audit of the Osia complex that will provide information of the number of units functioning in the complex, how many of them have water and sewerage connections, following which necessary action will be taken. We will engage the services of the health department to undertake a campaign to create awareness about obtaining sewerage connections," Sardesai said.

        Pointing out that the government has spent several crores building infrastructure and that subsidy is provided for sewerage connection charges, Sardesai said those failing to take connections will have to be penalized.

        "The health department will write to the PWD and electricity department for disconnection of power and water supply," he said.

        Expressing disgust over what he described as "completely unhygienic conditions" prevalent in the area, Sardesai said "there's utter lawlessness in the Osia complex; no rules are being followed."

        During the inspection of the SGPDA complex on Tuesday, Sardesai had warned traders in the market against releasing sewage and waste water into the open and urged them to take sewerage connections for their units.

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        • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

          Ordinance must if mining has to resume immediately: Vijai Sardesai

          PANAJI: The NDA government at the Centre should promulgate an ordinance if it wants to ensure that the mining industry in Goa resumes operations as quickly as possible, president of Goa Forward Party (GFP) and town and country planning minister Vijai Sardesai said on Thursday. Sardesai assured a delegation from Goa Mining People’s Front that he would take up the issue with Union minister for commerce and industry Suresh Prabhu, on October 27, in New Delhi.

          Iron ore mining came to a grinding halt in the state from March 15 following the Supreme Court order that cancelled mining leases issued by the directorate of mines and geology.

          “I will be going to Delhi and at that time I will meet Union commerce minister Suresh Prabhu, who is a member of the Group of Ministers. I will ask him to clear the file where it is stuck. If required, I will call the mining dependants to Delhi,” Sardesai said. The minister said the delay in resolving the mining sector’s problems was akin to “playing volleyball” with people’s lives.

          A delegation of Goa Mining People’s Front led by Puti Gaonkar called on Sardesai and requested him to intervene and ensure resumption of Goa’s mining industry.

          Gaonkar said that closure of mining operations had affected, both directly and indirectly, lakhs of people dependant on the industry.

          “If you want a solution then we have to move an ordinance in the Parliament,” Sardesai said, adding that he was the first to back the demand for an ordinance.

          Mayem constituency’s leader and party’s vice president Santosh Kumar Sawant, who was present for the meeting, said that GFP is with mining dependants and will not rest till the issue is taken to its logical conclusion.

          “I live in the mining belt where I have seen how people are suffering. The stoppage of the industry has crippled their livelihood,” Sawant said.

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          • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

            Two new storage tanks to ease water shortage in Calangute

            CALANGUTE: Two new water storage tanks being built near Calangute bus stand are expected to ease water shortage in the tourism hub. The work on the Rs2.5crore project is likely to be completed by May.

            In a first-of-its-kind water storage facility in the state, two tanks are being constructed at the same spot, one on the ground level and the second one above it as there is no land available for separate tanks.

            The only existing overhead water tank in Calangute, also in the same area, has a capacity of 150 cubic metres, while the two tanks will have a combined capacity of 1,850 cubic metres, Calangute sarpanch Shawn Martins told TOI.

            “Once the tanks are ready, the water storage capacity will increase 18 times. Water demand has increased tremendously due to the large number of hotels and guesthouses. We also wanted to make a provision for future requirements,” Martins said, adding, “Well water in Calangute is no longer potable because of ground water contamination due to soak pits.”

            Water from the ground-level tank will be pumped to the overhead tank, while there will be PWD offices and the pumping station on the middle level between the two tanks. Calangute panchayat has also sent a resolution, taken at the panchayat body meeting last week, to the water resources department asking for a pipeline to Calangute from the upcoming water treatment plant at Guirim.

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            • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

              Margao civic body to name and shame tax evaders

              MARGAO: Enthused by the positive response to the municipality's drive against tax evaders, chief officer of Margao Municipal Council (MMC), Siddhivinayak Naik, on Thursday said that all high net worth businesses operating in the town would be the initial targets of the municipality for its revenue mopping exercise. And to introduce a sense of deterrence to the drive, Naik said that the list of all high net worth businesses found to have defaulted in paying their tax arrears will be made public through press notes and public display arrangement.

              "We may even put up their names outside the municipality," chairperson Babita Angle Prabhudessai added.

              "We will maintain the same tempo and go ahead with the revenue mobilization drive and crack down on illegal encroachments," Naik said. Prabhudessai, while commending the chief officer for the successful drive, stressed that no councillor interfered in the drive to shield any defaulter.

              Explaining how big business houses would evade paying house tax and trade tax to the MMC over the years, Naik said, "There is a large number of shops which have been let out to commercial establishments and financial institutions on a monthly rent ranging from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5.5 lakh. While rules stipulate that one month's rent has to be paid to the municipality towards house tax, the shop owner would pay peanuts towards by concealing the lease agreements." Such untapped revenue resources could fetch the municipality nearly Rs 100 crore, Naik said.

              On measures to rein in tax evasion, Naik said the National Informatics Centre (NIC) will work out a system by which unless the payment schedule contained in the lease agreement is submitted to the municipality, trade licences won't be renewed

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              • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                Margao civic body first in Goa to go cashless

                tnn | Oct 27, 2018, 09:04 IST

                MARGAO: The Margao Municipal Council (MMC) has installed two point-of-sale (PoS) machines at its payment counters, becoming the first municipality in the state to process card transactions.

                Chief officer Siddhivinayak Naik, told TOI the move would enhance the efficiency of the municipality’s accounting system besides making it convenient for citizens to pay taxes and other fees. “We will continue to accept cash, but the emphasis will be on cashless transactions,” Naik said. The council has already moved over to electronic payment systems for salaries and other transactions.

                The MMC has been witnessing a steady stream of traders paying their tax arrears as a result of the ongoing drive. On Friday, the showroom of an automobile dealer near Arlem junction was sealed for operating without a trade licence for the past two years.


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                  ‘Underground power cabling for Porvorim’

                  TNN | Oct 29, 2018, 03:48 IST

                  Saligao: Revenue minister and Porvorim MLA Rohan Khaunte has said that the works of the first phase of underground cabling from Journalist Colony to the Kadamba depot has already been sanctioned and works will commence soon.

                  Khaunte was speaking after unveiling the plaque for the proposed development and beautification of PDA Garden and proposed Art Park for Porvorim constituency on Saturday. The estimated cost of the Art Park is around Rs 2.8 crore, while the estimated cost of the PDA Garden is Rs 2.6 crore. “This park is slightly different. We will be having a lot of art and all art-related things. This is an interactive space where people can come and spend time,” the minister said.

                  “The youth, teenagers and also the aged will get a chance to learn paintings and painting workshops will be conducted for Porvorim residents where they will get a chance to exhibit their talents,” Khaunte added.

                  Tourism minister Manohar Azgaonkar, who was present, said that chief minister Manohar Parrikar has brought in funds for development works. “Money is an important factor for development and to do sustainable development, there is a need for money. The chief minister has shown his ability to bring in the money and to use it for constructive development,”Azgaonkar said.

                  Also present were power minister Nilesh Cabral, ZP member Gupesh Naik, Penha de Franca sarpanch Swapnil Salgaonkar, Socorro sarpanch Sandeep Vazarkar, ZP member Vaishali Satardekar and others.

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                  • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                    No commercial activities for GTDC, says draft masterplan

                    Bindiya Chari | tnn | Oct 29, 2018, 03:44 IST

                    Panaji: The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) might have to completely disengage itself from operating residencies and hotels in the next ten years, if module IV of the draft tourism masterplan is accepted by the government. The GTDC will also have to give up its other commercial activities.

                    The draft plan, a vision document for developing the tourism sector for the next 25 years, has been put in public domain for discussion and suggestions.

                    The corporation has been instrumental in starting commercial activities such as hotels, halls, renting of buses and taxis, organising sightseeing tours and river cruises in the state.

                    Since these facilities and services have a significant market share and are well-supported and managed by the private sector, it has been suggested that “GTDC disengage from the same progressively over the next ten years.”

                    It is further recommended that assets such as hotels, buildings, land, other immovable assets and so on shall be redeveloped through private sector participation under long-term lease or licensing arrangements, for development or operations and management.

                    When five years ago, the corporation decided to lease out some of its prime properties on long leases the decision wasn’t welcomed. Yet, it went ahead and engaged private parties as it didn’t have the funds to keep its residencies running and redevelop them to offer the best facilities.

                    Its properties at Colva, Anjuna, Britona and Miramar are being redeveloped through the private investment mode. Its staff has been retained and redeployed as per needs.

                    The masterplan envisages that the GTDC shall progressively play the role of facilitator and aid investments in the tourism sector and slowly disengage itself from commercial activities.

                    Its primary task will involve development of relevant modern infrastructure and innovative product interventions in the state, as advised by the Goa tourism board, a new body to be constituted as per the recommendations of the draft tourism masterplan. It will include developing infrastructure through private sector participation, joint venture or public-private participation mode.

                    The tourism department will have to transfer of all its land and properties to the GTDC for developing tourism infrastructure.

                    The masterplan also suggests making the GTDC the primary agency for managing all tourism infrastructure — both state-funded and with private sector participation.

                    Presently, the GTDC’s board includes government officials linked to various departments and some private individuals, purportedly close to the minister incharge and the chairman, or those close to the ruling dispensation at relevant time. But the draft masterplan suggests that prviate individuals on the GTDC must have at least 10-year professional experience in specific fields of tourism sector.

                    A source said this will curtail the practise of appointing persons without any knowledge of the sector.


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                    • Re : Goa Real Estate News & Questions

                      ‘Doubts over projects OK’d by Mormugao PDA’

                      TNN | Oct 29, 2018, 03:31 IST

                      Panaji: The Chicalim gram sabha on Sunday demanded that no construction licences be issued by the panchayat to any project approved by the Mormugao Planning and Development Authority (MPDA), as the planning body has come under a cloud following a high court order.

                      The gram sabha, chaired by sarpanch Seby Pereira, was discussing the recent high court order directing MPDA chairman Rajesh Naik not to perform his functions till a full-fledged board and authority is in place.

                      Members said the panchayat should not consider any MPDA-approved project as all decisions taken by the chairman were tainted and may be reviewed. The matter was also sub judice. MPDA was allegedly functioning with only the chairman and a member secretary.

                      The gram sabha also resolved that no multi-dwelling units or high-rise buildings would be allowed due to the burden on infrastructure and other factors. The decision was taken at the earlier meeting in April, but the resolution was confirmed in the minutes on Sunday. Also, all upcoming housing projects should be within the 60% floor area ratio in the panchayat jurisdiction, the members resolved.

                      Pointing out that many of the existing drains and gutters lack a draining point, thereby causing stagnation of waste water, which become mosquito-breeding sites and health hazards, the gram sabha decided that no new drains will be constructed unless they had a draining point. If only the health department or authorities concerned are involved and drainage is interlinked to a point, should the new scheme be approved.

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